"It's not the camera but who's behind it." In many respects, that is 100% true. If you don't know how to use the camera you have, a camera upgrade isn't going to do you any good. However, if you do know how to use your camera and you think you are going to stick with it, there are many good reasons to upgrade! Below, I will give you 5 reasons to upgrade, and 1 reason to not...
my camera upgrade journey
I bought the very first Digital Rebel in 2004. This little 6 MP camera served me well for six years. This is a lifetime in the electronics world. Over those six years, I never had a good reason to upgrade except that the new cameras had a bigger LCD screen on the back (my camera had a tiny little screen!) and instant on (I missed so many shots because it took a second for the camera to power on if it went off.)
But then I discovered low aperture lenses and sports photography. And I started to understand the difference between all of those features and options. In 2010, I decided to upgrade to the 7D. It had a higher maximum shutter speed (1/8000 for all those low aperture lenses) and it took more frames per second (sports!) It also added video. Finally, a legit reason to do a camera upgrade!
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I upgraded a little faster the next time but I had a specific reason. At this point, I was shooting professionally and for corporate events and concerts, I needed really, really superior low light performance. I could not afford to have any digital noise in my photos are they were being printed and blown up large for wall displays.
Let's look at the reasons you might want to upgrade...you can download my free camera comparison guide here.
5 Reasons to upgrade...
1. you shoot indoors a lot
One of the main things that gets upgraded on a camera body is the lowlight performance. If you are using a very old camera (for example, your ISO doesn't go higher than 1600) it might be worth upgrading. The lowlight performance on older cameras is not only limited, the quality can be very poor at the upper limits. It might be ok posting online but will look very grainy and soft printed or enlarged.
2. Sports is your thing
If you have kids and you will be spending a lot of time on the sidelines, there are affordable models of cameras on the market today that can take 10 pictures in a second!! If you want to capture the decisive moment, then it is definitely worth a look. Many of the older models of cameras are slow to focus and only take a few pictures per second. This combined with #1 above is a definite reason for a camera upgrade (especially if your athlete plays indoors...think gymnastics, wrestling, basketball, etc.)
3. you want to add video to your repetoire
My original camera didn't even have video! When I purchased the 7D in 2010, full HD video was just becoming mainstream. Today, the video quality is off the charts. You can now shoot in 4k (but the file sizes may take your computer down!) I know many of my students have pulled cameras out of the closet that hadn't been used in years and were surprised by the number of improvements.
4. You want to share to social media
This is a big one!! One of the reasons that folks prefer to shoot with their iPhone is the ability to instantly share with the world. This is a big drawback of older DSLR's. You have to plug in to your computer, transfer, upload...you get the drill. Most new DSLR cameras have wifi built in. You can download an app to your phone, connect via wifi, and voila! You get all of the beauty that your big girl camera brings with the instant gratification of your phone. Best of both worlds.
5. You want to explore self-PORTRAITURE (or just like to take amazing selfies)
Along with the wifi, comes the ability to use your phone as a remote. With most cameras, you can see the scene on your phone and press the shutter release remotely. By tapping the screen on your phone you can set the focus area. By using the timer feature, you can strike a pose before the shutter snaps.
If you need some help shopping for a new camera, I've done some research for you. Download my free camera comparison guide. Download my free camera comparison guide. I've chosen 4 makes/models at two different price ranges and compared them to help you makes sense of all the choices out there.
And one reason not to...
If you don't know how to use the camera you have, a new camera will not change anything. My recommendation would be to learn what you have. And BONUS, if you get the bug, you'll have a better idea of what you want in your next camera.
I was reading my Click Magazine (a gorgeous photography magazine designed and curated specifically for women) and they highlighted 20 photographers new on the scene. I was struck by one in particular. Her name is Kenya Meon (@k.meon on Instagram) from Atlanta. Her work is AH-MAZING (obviously, she was published in the magazine) but what struck me was the question regarding her gear. Her go-to camera is the Canon Rebel T1i. That camera came out in March 2009!! That was her very first camera. If that isn't proof positive that "it's not the camera, but who's behind it," then I don't know what is. Check her out.
think you want to upgrade but not sure where to start?
I've got your back! I wrote a FREE class called "What Camera Should I Buy?" It includes a quick 20-min video which explains what is important (and what you can ignore) when shopping for a new camera. I've also included two downloadable guides to use when shopping. You can enroll here.
Andrea Ferenchik, Founder
Andrea started The Big Girl School because she loves sharing her passion of photography with other women. As a former trainer at Microsoft and current professional photographer, she has the unique ability to break down technical jargon of the camera into easy to understand language. She loves nothing more than to see her students grow and thrive in their photographic journey.
Are you shopping for a camera? Check out my FREE class to help you decide.
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